Snow brings transport network to standstill
PUBLISHED: 09:03 24 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:39 07 September 2010
A BUS driver was stranded in Muswell Hill with a passenger on board for six hours – as snow brought Haringey's transport network to a standstill. Stephen Mwesezi, 49, was forced to abandon driving the 102 bus from Brent Cross to Edmonton
A BUS driver was stranded in Muswell Hill with a passenger on board for six hours - as snow brought Haringey's transport network to a standstill.
Stephen Mwesezi, 49, was forced to abandon driving the 102 bus from Brent Cross to Edmonton Green at 4.25pm on Monday after the vehicle skidded in the snow. He parked near Sainsbury's in Fortis Green Road where most passengers alighted apart from one lady in her 60s who was suffering from bad knees.
It was not until 11.15pm that the roads finally cleared and they were able to continue their journey.
Mr Mwesezi, who eventually arrived home at 12.40am, said: "We were all stranded. Arriva completely cut off all communication with us for four hours. It was very cold and uncomfortable. We were told to stay with our vehicles but then no one answered when I called them."
Up to a dozen buses ground to a halt in the area causing gridlock because of the snow blizzards which began on Monday afternoon.
Resident Liz Thomson, 52, watched the chaos unfold from her window and went outside to offer the bus drivers a cup of coffee. She said: "It was the Blitz spirit. I offered them coffee and biscuits and Sainsbury's offered them sandwiches. The John Baird pub also provided food. It was total chaos."
Meanwhile Cllr Lyn Weber was forced to abandon her car. She said: "I only popped out to get a Christmas voucher from Halfords, which is about a mile and half away. But it took me six hours to get home. We sat in a restaurant for a few hours and eventually got home at 11pm."
Haringey Police said there were 29 calls about road accidents between 2pm on Monday and 10am on Tuesday, mainly in Muswell Hill and Crouch End. They also received 53 calls about obstructions. Crouch Hill was closed from 6.30pm until 9.30pm after reports of cars slipping.
A spokesman for the borough council said: "Hundreds of council staff have been working round the clock to keep the borough's roads moving and safe. All key routes and B-roads have been gritted, while teams have scattered salt on pavements, footpaths and priority sites.
"It was difficult to reach some roads on Monday because of the volume of rush hour traffic but we will continue the huge gritting effort until the cold snap ends."
A spokeswoman for Arriva said: "The welfare of our drivers is very important to us. The weather conditions were particularly challenging and we worked hard to keep our drivers informed. We will be looking into the concerns raised by one of our drivers and we would urge him to speak to his line manager. Our apologies to the passenger who was on board at the time for any inconvenience caused.
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